1849 – Ivan Pavlov, Russian physiologist and physician, Nobel Prize laureate is born.
Ivan Petrovich Pavlov was a Russian physiologist known primarily for his work in classical conditioning.
From his childhood days Pavlov demonstrated intellectual curiosity along with an unusual energy which he referred to as “the instinct for research”. Inspired by the progressive ideas which D. I. Pisarev, the most eminent of the Russian literary critics of the 1860s, and I. M. Sechenov, the father of Russian physiology, were spreading, Pavlov abandoned his religious career and devoted his life to science. In 1870 he enrolled in the physics and mathematics department at the University of Saint Petersburg in order to study natural science.
Pavlov won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1904, becoming the first Russian Nobel laureate. A survey in the Review of General Psychology, published in 2002, ranked Pavlov as the 24th most cited psychologist of the 20th century. Pavlov’s principles of classical conditioning have been found to operate across a variety of experimental and clinical settings, including educational classrooms.
1905 – Albert Einstein publishes his first paper on the special theory of relativity.
In physics, special relativity (SR, also known as the special theory of relativity or STR) is the generally accepted and experimentally well-confirmed physical theory regarding the relationship between space and time. In Albert Einstein’s original pedagogical treatment, it is based on two postulates:
The laws of physics are invariant (i.e. identical) in all inertial systems (non-accelerating frames of reference).
The speed of light in a vacuum is the same for all observers, regardless of the motion of the light source.
It was originally proposed in 1905 by Albert Einstein in the paper “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies”.[The inconsistency of Newtonian mechanics with Maxwell’s equations of electromagnetism and the lack of experimental confirmation for a hypothesized luminiferous aether led to the development of special relativity, which corrects mechanics to handle situations involving motions at a significant fraction of the speed of light (known as relativistic velocities). As of today, special relativity is the most accurate model of motion at any speed when gravitational effects are negligible. Even so, the Newtonian mechanics model is still useful (due to its simplicity and high accuracy) as an approximation at small velocities relative to the speed of light.
Not until Einstein developed general relativity, to incorporate general (or accelerated) frames of reference and gravity, was the phrase “special relativity” employed. A translation that has often been used is “restricted relativity”; “special” really means “special case”.
1960 – In Chicago, the first televised debate takes place between presidential candidates Richard M. Nixon and John F. Kennedy.
The first general election presidential debate was held on September 26, 1960, between U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic nominee, and Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee, in Chicago at the studios of CBS’s WBBM-TV. It was moderated by Howard K. Smith and included a panel composed of Sander Vanocur of NBC News, Charles Warren of Mutual News, and Stuart Novins of CBS. Historian J.N. Druckman observed “television primes its audience to rely more on their perceptions of candidate image (e.g., integrity). At the same time, television has also coincided with the world becoming more polarized and ideologically driven.” Nixon was considered a poor performer on television as he didn’t have the same telegenic looks in contrast to JFK, although radio listeners found that Nixon had did as well if not better than JFK in the first debate. While Nixon was considered the better debater with more policy knowledge and good radio skills, he looked underweight and pale from his recent hospital stay, plus he sweated profusely. Nixon’s suit color blended in with the debate set background which reduced his stature, and refusing television makeup he had a 5 O’Clock shadow that showed prominently on the era’s black-and-white TV screens. Many observers have regarded JFK’s win over Nixon in the first debate as a turning point in the election. After the first debate, polls showed Kennedy moving from a slight deficit into a slight lead over Nixon.
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